PEOPLE, YES, PEOPLE
People, yes, people. Here comes a rush. A gust of stars.
People will break your heart and then they’ll mend it again
and if you’re lucky, they’ll mend it with a gold sunset.
Me, I like moonrises of the beautiful and mysterious.
That’s what I saw when I was looking through the windows
of a woman I loved as if I were staring straight into
the face of God, and the Queen of Heaven took another veil off.
Be nothing so you can be influenced by everything.
And I’ve always been grateful like the sea or an apple orchard.
I’ve been blessed. I’ve been cursed. I’ve avoided the obvious rhyme.
Most of the time came in through the backdoor but then
so does the moon like a dark, romantic, pale thief
returning Ryokan to his window. What does it mean?
Summations, anybody. Beats me. I don’t know.
I’ve doubted and affirmed, celebrated and cursed
it all my life as the only way I had of exploring it
because it fascinated me to watch my mind walking
its own waters with nothing to save or give away
but what it wanted to and when, fireflies of insight
into the significance of being alive to know it. It’s a gift
that found you on the threshold of the labyrinth
of morning glory you entered to learn to distinguish
the difference between a womb and an empty bucket.
Managed it yet? Or are you still working on eclipses
and sundials with occult philosophies of crickets
to their credits, or castanets by now? Chance it, lady, chance it.
Teach your skeletons how to danse macabre with you.
Sit around a firepit of prophetic skulls and watch the flames
as if it were your first visit to Stonehenge
or Orpheus were being dismembered all over again
by the brutal mystery of the women that he’s slain
deeper into life by going down into death
like a well that could sing to the shadows
under their breath like the waters of light and life itself
when the moon was making its way across the narrows.
It doesn’t matter. Get into it, her, him, whatever
gets you through the night as if it were special,
passionate, blameless, thin as the moon when
it’s playing Zorro with your heart and a masked raccoon.
This isn’t Venice. It’s a cosmic frontier. Conduct
yourself accordingly, walk like a human who cares.
O no doubt it isn’t all fireflies trying to make constellations
in the summer of white-tailed does stepping
out of the mist of their nebularity in the valley
into an apparition made of light. Beautiful. Don’t miss that.
Don’t deprive yourself of your eyes. And keep
the thorns on the roses, especially if they’re black eclipses
in a school for mystical mirrors that are learning
how to dance with columbines. Drink your own
blood out of the skull of the moon, and drink deep.
Let the night wear your bloodstream for a change
and don’t be afraid of the mysterious when a black
hole shows you your face in a dark mirror
and there’s nobody there you recognize. Smile
as if you were glazing the starmud bricks of heaven
to build a temple outside the the lion gates of Babylon,
or bulls if that makes you feel any better. Existential
effervescence. Keep it bubbly as a galaxy of quantum foam,
touch it lightly, touch it lightly, touch it lightly
with your fingertips forever full of farewell
as if the moon were putting her kids to bed and kissing
them on their foreheads as if they were silos full
of butterflies from worlds beyond born in the mouth
of dragon stars. And don’t be feeble about it.
Look it in the eye directly. Have the guts of an arrow
or a sparrow hawk. Make flying carpets out
of the yarn that unravels out of the mouths of lunar toothpaste
that gone’s mad with the taste of itself. Go crazy
but do it human way. Make love to each to each other
and I’m not even going to go there, but you know,
don’t you, you know how much silence there is
in a single, sacred syllable of water and fire and light
and the blue air overhead like an eyelid that just
got French-kissed by a snail that tracked in the Milky Way,
as if your mouth were a garden for thieves and nightbirds.
You hear that. I do. That’s you being a lonely waterbird
among the Lanark hills trying to convince the stars
you’re not an echo of anybody else you ever knew.
Walk beside a candle most of the days of your life,
and when the fire god comes to set fire to your orchid
show him what you can do with moonlight
if you wanted to, but you don’t, because you
just wanted him to see how silk can burn like ice
when it dances with its eyes as if it weren’t looking
at anybody else. Fail if you have to. Just
don’t be mean and mediocre about it. Fail
in a vast attempt to be more than you’ve ever been before,
fail trying to attain the unattainable forgiveably
so you help people on the same burning ladder
up the stars as if they were scarlet runners
with wild aspirations of becoming pilot lights
that put out to sea, full of awareness and dread
but convinced there’s something out there beyond
the starmaps and chandeliers that’s a dark mirror
that clarifies things as deep as you want to take them
seriously in a playful kind of way because I told you
earlier, touch it lightly, touch it lightly, touch it lightly
as the witching stick of a dragonfly on the lip
of a waterlily that’s just discovered
someone’s spiked the waters of life with starmud
and she’s terrified of how much it matters
exquisitely to celebrate the fact with praise
and unlimited joy, though later in life that
will turn into a background noise of cool bliss
summing it all up like a windfall of autumn
as if it’s never been as rich as this before.
Yes, the crows, the shadows, the matriculation
of perfection in the crone phase of the immaculate moon
that takes your breath away, like your life, your love
your wisdom and your ignorance of what it’s all about,
and leaves you with a mystery in a small black box
you haven’t opened yet to see what’s inside
the darkness that shines so you can see the light
and know for yourself if it tastes of fire and ashes
or sumac in the spring in the tender new plumage
of its flightfeathers to get out of the nest
like the sky burial of a starmap and see how big forever is.